Impact of Tillage Practices on Annual Phosphorus Losses

The Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario received $200,400 in funding from the Farm Innovation Program to assess seasonal losses of phosphorus (P) under conventional and modified (rotational) no-till systems. To achieve this, three project objectives were developed, which include: characterizing the forms and amounts of P lost as affected by tillage, assessing the overall impact of modified no-till systems as a best management practice (BMP) for the mitigation of P loss, and initiating the formation of an Ontario database identifying BMP impacts on P loses.

Research is underway on three sites, which were first instrumented to allow measurement of basic soil properties (rainfall, temperatures, etc.). The second activity is collection of data such as: timing, type of tillage, crop rotation, nutrient applications and crop yields. The third activity is determine phosphorus losses through tiles over all seasons of the year by measuring runoff from tiles and phosphorus concentrations found in tile water. Results will be disseminated to the industry through presentations, online media, newsletters and scientific publications. These results will outline the effect of different agronomic practices on P movement to surface and subsurface water, providing farmers with the opportunity to efficiently decrease environmental impact upon surface water bodies through new BMP's....

 

Read this story and more in the June Agricultural Adaptation Council Newsletter.

From Agricultural Adaptation Council

For more information on the AAC visit their website here.